Welcome

Myanmar in a changing world

Myanmar Conference 2022, 01 – 03 September 2022
Hosted the Humboldt-University Berlin and the Heinrich Böll Foundation, organized by the Myanmar-Institut e.V.
Hybrid Conference in Berlin and on Zoom


For over ten years, Myanmar has been described as rapidly changing by academic and popular media alike. With the advent of a semi-civilian government, the gradual lifting of sanctions and legal changes, Myanmar was set to flourish. Myanmar continues to see rapid changes in the ongoing coup starting February 2021. Little has been left untouched by those changes: political, economic, social and religious life have all been transformed. The ensuing Spring Revolution has seen a new generation flourish and wilt on the streets as well as online. Like the Milk Tea Alliance, alliances have spread support across borders, and diaspora movements have been newly invigorated by new members who had to leave the country. A shadow government is still awaiting international recognition while many of those who in the early days of the coup had called on the ‘international community’ to intervene have given up hope in what they now call ‘United Nothing’. Even if these changes seem all-encompassing, the directions they have been taking are varied. While the media landscape flourished after 2011, many journalists now have difficulties reporting. Discrimination and prosecution of minorities as waxed and waned over the years. Amid conversations about the opening and closing of the country, these developments have shown Myanmar to be deeply embedded in regional and global processes. It may even seem as if those global changes were anticipated by both the national anthem (ကမ္ဘာမကျေ) and a popular 1988 protest song sung again in 2021, ကမ္ဘာမကြေဘူး.

Because of the ongoing pandemic and a severe ethical and legal uncertainty about possible ways of conducting research in and about Myanmar after the coup, Myanmar scholarship is also set to change. The conference invites considerations about how to engage with Myanmar now. We want to examine various ways of keeping Myanmar research vibrant. This includes the challenge to decolonise it.

The conference committee invites contributions from academics, researchers, graduate students and professionals situating Myanmar in the world. While we hope for many contributions relating to this year’s theme, we will also try to accommodate papers not relating directly to it. To contribute, please submit an abstract in Myanmar, English or German of up to 200 words as well as a brief biographical note until 6th May to:

Benedict Mette-Starke 
Ph.D. candidate
Social and Political Anthropology, University of Konstanz, Germany
Email: conference [at] myanmar-institut.org

We will notify those who have been accepted by 29th May.